May 17

GBusters

I am not much of a comedy fan so take as you will, but think Ghostbusters (2016) is the best comedy film I’ve ever seen.

It’s not my favorite (that’s LA Story), but I think it is the only comedy film I’ve returned to, to watch certain scenes, in many years.

It’s not perfect but it’s charming and hilarious and has the best comedy performance in any movie ever made, IMO, in Kate McKinnon’s Holtzmann.

May 16

Cinos

The Leftovers is just a damn brilliant show.

Something I noticed tonight as I was watching the first episode of Season 3 is that it’s not just great due to the plotting or the uniformly adroit actors, or even the weirdness admixed with the mundane that makes it all the more surreal-real, but has much to do with the lovely principal photography and sound design.

It’s one of the most beautifully-photographed and the most meticulous and exacting and sonically lush shows I’ve ever seen. What most shows ignore because they’d either be too hard to capture or to foley in are present here, in the best verisimilitude I’ve ever heard.

Just what a great show. And you get Carrie Coon.

May 15

Axeslinger

I’ve linked a version of this before and in this one, the audio quality is completely terrible. Like, someone banging on a rusty garbage can on the bottom of the ocean abysmal. But I can actually see Marissa P of Screaming Females play the entire solo at the end of “Because the Night,” and for that it is worth it.

I don’t even really care about guitar solos. But her musicianship and ferocity on the guitar just cause her talent to elevate it all to something greater:

Notice how at one point her hand is moving more quickly than the camera (probably capping at 30hz) can handle.

Paraphrasing something a commenter points out, watching Wednesday Addams shred on the electric guitar is a good thing in the world.

May 15

WC

It’s really not fair to other women. My partner keeps getting both massively cuter and more interesting as she gets older.

And she was already wicked clever, but it is some measure of hope and justice for everyone that she doesn’t seem to be getting any smarter. That would just not be fair to anyone.

May 13

IYIIYI

I’ve figured out why these people are — to steal Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s great phrase — Intellectuals Yet Idiots.

They are economists. Or at least one of them is. Not sure if both.

But if you are professional economist to keep a job you nearly have to lobotomize yourself. You simply must be an IYI to maintain your salary.

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

That describes the duo on that site perfectly.

Mystery solved. IYIs, and the worst sort of IYIs: economists!

May 13

Defrauded

Anyone reading this lived through the greatest fraud in human history.

Financial writer David Dayen goes beyond documenting the systemic fraud perpetrated by Wall Street. He shows how ordinary people were able to blow the lid off the mortgage machine and document the lack of evidence for finance’s claims they owned the debts that they claimed to own. Those claims, in turn, forced the government to cover up the fraud in order to preserve the myth of the market.

It amazes me every time I think about this, about what happened. This is fraud on an unparalleled scale — endorsed and then furthered by the US government — that affected directly millions of people and billions indirectly. It obviously occurred, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it and that it was allowed to occur.

Millions of titles out there are basically complete fabrications. Not only that, but this fraud is now the official way of doing business.

Don’t know why there was not more of an uproar about it, but I think the details are just a little too abstruse with too many monied interests controlling the propaganda fountain and the courts/legislatures for any real pushback to materialize.

May 12

Pmurt

Considering the possibility that Trump fired Comey and then admitted the firing was due to the Russia inquiry because Trump actually does not want to be president.

This would be a good way to get impeached and not seem to have quit.